Greg Steube

Open Carry Bill Filed in Florida for Coming Session

A Republican lawmaker has filed a bill that would make Florida the 46th state to adopt lawful open carry of handguns while dropping a number of mandated gun free zones.

The measure, filed late Friday by the new head of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Greg Steube, R-Sarasota, would modify state law to allow for open carry as long as one had a valid concealed carry permit.

Steube, a former state representative who sponsored pro-gun legislation in his stint in the Florida House, was tapped to replace outgoing Senate Judiciary Chairman Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, R-Miami, who repeatedly blocked gun reforms.

Steube’s measure, SB 140, is sweeping in the respect that it not only authorizes Florida’s 1.6 million concealed carry permit holders to carry openly, but also trims away a number of long standing gun free zones. Among the areas affected would be secondary schools, career centers, and local government meetings.

Despite some of the most pro-gun laws in the country, Florida is just one of five states in the country that ban open carry and are in the same club that includes California, New York, South Carolina and Illinois. Florida allowed open carry until 1977.

The Florida Supreme Court is currently reviewing the 2012 case of a Floridian who was found guilty by a lower court for the open carry of a weapon outside of his home after his handgun, which he had a concealed carry permit for, became visible. With a ruling in that litigation likely before the start of the 2017 legislative session, lawmakers may be forced to codify a change should the high court strike the ban.

Legislation to pass open carry in the last session became a litmus test for law enforcement, with the Florida Police Chiefs Association supporting the move in a 15-7 vote while the Florida Sheriffs Association had 47 of 67 member sheriffs opposing the measure. Each side had very vocal champions with Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gualtieri contending open carry is fundamentally dangerous and Brevard County Sheriff Wayne Ivey arguing openly armed citizens represent a direct deterrent effect on crime.

Holstered Glock

2nd Amendment Coalition Looks To Push National Reciprocity

Ailsa Chang a host for National Public Radio interviewed John Boch and asked the following questions:

CHANG: Next, we’re going to hear from someone who wants to see gun rights expanded in the next administration. John Boch is a co-chair of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition. He joins us on the line from his home in Bloomington, Ill. Thanks so much for being with us.

JOHN BOCH: Thanks for having me.

CHANG: So I understand you want to see a federal law on gun reciprocity, which means allowing people with concealed carry permits to cross state lines with their guns. Why is this a top issue for you?

BOCH: Well, it’s a top issue for me because, as it is currently in America, there’s a patchwork of laws across the land and you have to do a lot of research ahead of time to make sure that you’re legal if you’re carrying your concealed firearm across state lines. If we had national reciprocity, our concealed carry licenses would be recognized with full faith and credit just as our driver’s licenses are to current Americas. And so we want to see that expanded to the concealed carry licenses as well across the nation so I can go to New York City or to Los Angeles and not have to do a mountain of research and maybe find out that my carry license is not recognized in one state versus another.

CHANG: Are there specific things that the Obama administration did that you would like to see undone?

BOCH: Basically, every executive order that Obama issued on firearms I would like to see rescinded. Frankly, I’d like to see a lot of executive orders that, you know, the two Bush presidents put forth relating to guns and Bill Clinton, I’d like to see those struck as well.

CHANG: How much has the Obama administration really encroached on gun rights? Because Congress never passed legislation to expand background checks to, say, gun shows and internet sales. That was the president’s main goal. He didn’t get that done.

BOCH: Well, let’s back up a little bit. Transactions at gun shows are required to go through the same background checks that transactions at, say, your Dick’s Sporting Goods store…

CHANG: Right.

BOCH: …Are required to go…

CHANG: Transactions with federally licensed dealers, yes.

BOCH: Exactly. And internet sales, they’re highly regulated just as if you went to the store to buy it. Now, private transactions, if you’re talking about that, I don’t see as the government’s business that I sell a gun to my neighbor or my uncle. That, in my mind, is not government’s business. And when people say universal background check, that really means a ban on private transfers. All transfers have to go through the government. And I don’t like the idea that the government gets to keep a registry of who transfers guns to whom.

CHANG: So you are part of President-elect Trump’s Second Amendment Coalition. What exactly is that? Do you feel like you really have Trump’s ear?

BOCH: I don’t know that I have President Trump’s ear. I know that I’ve got Donald Trump Jr.’s ear, and I’m pretty sure that Donald Trump Jr.’s got a pretty inside line to the big guy himself. But the whole purpose of the Second Amendment Coalition team is to provide advice, recommendations, a direction to take gun laws and gun regulations and so forth for the new administration. You know, Donald Trump has a long reputation for surrounding himself with good people who are subject-matter experts to provide guidance. And I just believe that this is just another example of that, just as some of these nominees that he’s put up for some of these Cabinet positions have been just simply outstanding individuals.

CHANG: John Boch is executive director of the gun rights advocacy group Guns Save Life. Thanks for joining us.

BOCH: Thanks for having me.

To hear the whole interview click here

Women unloads

Epic Home Defense Video: Woman Shoots at Burglars Killing One

Three burglars in Gwinnett County Georgia, kick in a front door, but they are totally unprepared for what happens next as she chases them through her house emptying her gun at them as they try to escape:

One of the burglars is shot and killed. The other two manage to escape and police are on the hunt for them.

Here’s more:

WSBTV – Police are hoping someone can help identify two home invaders. They were caught on camera as a woman in the house shot at them.

“She exercised her right to defend her livelihood and property,” Cpl. Deon Washington with the Gwinnett County Police Department told Channel 2’s Nicole Carr.

Surveillance video from inside the home shows the Gwinnett County woman rush from her bedroom and then unloads all her bullets on the three men who kicked in her front door.

The woman is a local restaurant manager who was staying in a housemate’s Spring Drive home for work-related reasons.

She heard the three intruders break into the home around 4 a.m. Friday. Video shows the men have guns clearly in hand.

Police said the men were looking for cash when they met their match.

As they exchange fire with drywall debris clouding the dark home, the video shows one man run through a glass door.

Another man died of his injuries in the driveway.

The video then shows the woman being consoled by a housemate who gently takes away the gun.

“It’s not common that we receive this caliber of surveillance video showing the crime unfold, an actual home invasion,” Washington said.

Its has been said that a gun is the great equalizer. This brave woman proves it. She’s clearly outnumbered, yet she defends herself, her roommate and her property because she knew she could.

The Second Amendment triumphs again.

bondconstitution

10 Year Old Recites U.S. Constitution From Memory

Nathan Bond, a 10-year-old from California spent his summer memorizing the every last word of the U.S. Constitution.

“It was pretty hard,” Nathan told CNN, adding that it took him 137 days to memorize the Constitution. “I didn’t get one break except on my birthday.”

Heidi Bond, Nathan’s mom, said she homeschools her boy, and he “fell in love with America and the government” when he read and memorized the Declaration of Independence which he recited at a rally in Sacramento back in June. He took on the Constitution project this summer, memorizing the document in 40 word segments during family camping trips and boat rides.

“He has a mind like no other I’ve ever seen,” she said. “He’s a genius. He can memorize anything within seconds.”

Heidi recorded a video of Nathan’s grand performance to YouTube last week. Nathan devotedly reads recites the Constitution, an achievement that takes 25 minutes.

 

crowder CSGCB

Comedian Steven Crowder Debunks ‘Common Sense’ Gun Control

Just when you think you have seen it all, comedian Steven Crowder recently set up a sidewalk display featuring a table of firearms and then took an undercover video documenting how the average citizen reacted to them.

The idea, he said, was “to see what people know — or don’t know — about firearms and just how far they’re willing to give over the reins to the federal government as far as legislation based on that knowledge.”

Crowder advertising his made-up “Citizens Coalition for Common Sense Gun Reform” attempting to get a made-up petition filled with signatures, Crowder tackled buzzwords politicians and pundits toss around such as “assault weapon” and “automatic.”

The video is very funny and worth a watch:

 

SJWs

Social Justice Warriors: Champions of Stupidity

Most people send their children off to college assuming their son or daughter will be influenced positively, by making new friends and learning necessary skills to benefit them in the work force. What they don’t expect is for their sons and daughters to be bullied for their political beliefs, and, even worse, they don’t expect their kids to become radical leftists out of touch with reality. However in recent years many universities have taken it upon themselves to “educate” students on the various discriminations found world wide. They do this by immediately putting down any white heterosexual students suggesting they’re are beneficiaries of the notorious “White Privilege”. Unfortunately, the students who take these far left lies to heart become what is commonly referred to as a “Social Justice Warrior”(SJWs), and attempt the shame and belittle anyone who disagrees with their opinion.

 

When speaking about SJWs, nothing strikes me more than feminism. If you buy into the SJW’s ideas of feminism, you more than likely believe in the “wage gap”, the abstract body known as the “patriarchy”, and the systematic oppression of women, and if you disagree you’re a misogynist pig and part of the problem. Firstly, there is no “wage gap”, as it’s illegal for anything of that nature to exist, and any women experiencing it could take their employer to court and walk away with heavy pockets. Why aren’t women taking their oppressive, sexist employers to court? Because there is no legal ground to stand on what doesn’t exist. What many have been mislead to believe is wage gap, is actually an earning gap. The difference being a wage is what one is paid hourly, and an earning is getting paid for the amount of time one works. In an article for Slate, Hanna Rosin explains how statistics have been twisted to purpose this pay gap, stating the Bureau of Labor’s statistics show women making 77% of the median income for full time employed men, not 77 cents per dollar. When looking at the incomes between young men and women, that 77% gap drops to a 93% gap. Why the gap at all? Eileen Patten of Pew Research, using data from their survey, suggests the gap occurs due to the fact women in the survey showed they were more likely to take career interruptions to do things, such as caring for family members, more than men were, and had the potential to do long term damage in terms of their careers. Besides the pay gap, feminists insist the Western world has been consumed by a culture supporting rape. This idea holds no credibility, due to the fact it’s illegal and is in no way condoned by mainstream America. Feminists argue that men aren’t being taught about consent enough, which has led to culture supporting rape. Murder, theft and rape have been illegal for a while now, with hundreds, if not thousands, groups and organizations condemning such actions, and yet they still happen. The portrayal of rapists by feminism obscures the fact that rapists are regular criminals who knowingly broke the law, hence the reason rapists are punished when found guilty. This then brings up the notion that society blames the victim and places all fault on them, when in reality society looks at every victim who puts themselves in the position to become a victim at fault. Rape is never justified, but if you’re in a bad neighborhood waving cash around, your odds of being robbed are more than likely higher than someone who keeps their cash out of sight, point being that criminals are everywhere, and while it would be amazing if all rapists disappeared, criminals will forever exist so it’s unfortunately necessary to take extra precautions, like not getting black out drunk around complete strangers or hanging out with the wrong crowd. Be triggered.

 

In an attempt to save students from hurt feelings, many universities have stamped “trigger warnings” on books that might contain offensive material to insure students are safe from emotional distress with some claiming to be suffering from symptoms as severe as PTSD(yes, like military veterans). Instances where students have asked professors to refrain from using the word “rape”, when the teacher is teaching laws concerning rape are not unheard of. The idea of trigger warnings actually stems from feminist websites suggesting that the trauma caused by rape requires everything and anything mentioning rape should be censored to protect the victim’s feelings. While I agree, making rape jokes or excessively talking about rape around a victim is not a good idea, many of those who study PTSD have stated that creating “safe spaces” does more harm than good to PTSD victims than good as denying small exposure to what harmed them reinforces and magnifies the fear. While rape is one thing, SJWs have applied safe spaces and trigger warnings to anyone with any variation from the standard heterosexual white male, who gets no safe space or trigger warnings despite constantly being shunned in debate for having “white privilege”. Conservative speakers like Ben Shapiro and Milo Yiannopoulos are constantly being banned or interrupted and shut down by SJWs who protect the ideas of those who they agree with, but are immediately “triggered” by even the presence anyone who disagrees with their ideas on on things like gender and racial equality.

 

SJWs are so adamantly against heterosexual white males due to the core SJW belief of systematic racism. It’s said that white men are privileged due to various reasons including income disparity, incarceration disparity, and, the greatest of all these lies, the disparity in the rate of men killed by police due to racism. What SJWs can’t grasp is that disparity in no way equates to racism, but does that even matter when their claims are blatantly wrong? A Harvard study showed no bias in shootings, completely destroying Black Lives Matter’s claim of police hunting African Americans, but did show bias in police use of force against African Americans, so it must be racism? Another statistic done in NYC shows cops much more likely charge African Americans with resisting arrest than white people. Clearly more evidence of systematic racism? The FBI statistics from 2013 show African Americans in the U.S commit 52% of murder, 31% of rape, 56% of robbery, and at least in the 30% range for almost every crime with the exception of intoxication/alcohol laws, prostitution, and unspecified sex crimes.This is alarming due to the fact that African Americans only make up 13% of the U.S population. Does this mean if you’re African American you’re inherently a criminal? No, and the fact the rate of crime from those under 18 and older than 18 stays almost the same suggests a very real problem affecting the youth in predominantly African American communities that needs to be addressed as soon as possible to prevent African American youth from becoming another statistic in a continuous cycle. However SJWs would rather blindly argue police and the “system” are against African Americans, while Black on Black crime is the leading killer among African American males. Black Lives Matter, a group supported by SJW’s, leads the front in ignoring these facts and accuses white people of causing every problem for African Americans while simultaneously doing nothing but damage minority communities, as seen in Baltimore and Ferguson, .  While the disparity between African American and Caucasian American crime is startling, there are plenty of other disparities nobody mentions, like Asian Americans having the highest median income of anyone, but nobody screams about Asian Privilege.

 

Outside of racial privilege, there is one more privilege many of us forgot, and that is the privilege of being cisgender. Crazy enough, having a penis between your legs and knowing you’re a male is privilege full numerous benefits you never knew about, such as being able to use the appropriate bathroom that corresponds with our genders. SJWs argue the transgender community is wrongfully oppressed by not being able to use the bathroom of the gender they identify with, and if you agree with these bathroom rules, you’re a transphobic bigot, and if you think it’s a mental disorder to be transgender, heaven help you. Dr. Paul McHugh, former Psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins hospital says being transgender is a “mental disorder”,and that a legitimate sex change is “biologically impossible” while citing suicide rates being 20 times higher among those who receive the sex change surgery than those who didn’t get the surgery and citing the statistic that up to 80% of minors with transgender like feelings completely lose their feelings of misidentification over time. But even to those who point out the opinions of professionals without personal bias against the trans community are bigots by the SJWs who openly welcome everyone’s feelings except white people.

 

When it comes to racism SJWs have a crazy belief that no one can be racist against white people because minorities apparently hold no power, portraying the average white person as somewhat of a slave master to minorities. MTV even made videos to explain to us silly white people, that no one can actually be racist against us. Franchesca Ramsey, who serves as the lecturer, says(while wearing a wig and speaking in a way portraying a white women) the dictionary definition of “racism” is “simple” and that to truly understand racism, we need to understand sociologies definition of the term as it boils down to prejudice and power. She then goes on to claim, because it’s her opinion and she’s oppressed black woman tired of our racial ignorance, we should take sociologists definition. Coincidentally,Cambridge’s dictionary has a different definition more congruent with the dictionary’s. Unfortunately, SJWs continue to perpetuate the idea that due to one’s skin color, if they’re white, they lose all sense of empathy for minorities unless you agree with them. Due to the obvious hypocrisy in one man telling another man of the same race he can’t understand something that he can understand because of his skin color, this reveals itself as a tactic to do nothing more than cut down opposition to the SJW’s opinion and to eliminate free thought. In a discussion, how would one person’s race affect the topic of debate? It doesn’t.

 

Ultimately SJW’s are really just products of radical progressivism invading school systems from grade school to college filling kid’s heads with ideas of feelings, safe spaces, and a fictional pay gap, rather than factual information and reality. The millennial progressives insist the narrative that women are being oppressed in the U.S despite the fact there is not one law oppressing women and the fact women have full control over having an abortion, regardless of the father’s feelings, which seems pretty sexist against men to me. Because of this, older generations of feminists view current feminism as a shell of the movement it once was. Much like how feminism became null and void, SJWs rally behind Black Lives Matter, who have incited the deaths of multiple police officers, like a new Civil Rights Movement, except for the fact it lacks peace and credibility entirely. While pretending to be for civil rights, they target white males for their ethnicity so their ideas have less resistance, regardless of the means, but if you dare bring up statistical facts, you’re racist and lying. SJWs demand you agree with their opinion and life choices, regardless of the facts surrounding your opinions or you’re a bigot, efficiently creating more stupid people who exercise feelings rather than thought. But you can’t even entirely blame the school systems. Media of every type from Twitter to the new Ghostbusters film are constantly forcing their philosophy on the youth, and shunning any differing opinion under the guise of hate speech. SJWs are merely a new manifestation of fascism spreading like a plague in college universities that have prohibited free speech and free thought in favor of “safe spaces” that are used to cultivate mindless drones who scream and yell whatever they’re told to in the name of equality.

 

Author Rob Ash @RobAsh97

Editor Tom Marshall

From: http://robash97.blogspot.com/2016/08/social-justice-warriors-champions-of.html

student-4_3

Texas Professors Sue to Deny Students 2nd Amendment Right

Three professors working in the Liberal Arts department at The University of Texas at Austin are fighting a Texas law that allows students to carry concealed handguns in their college classrooms.

Senate Bill 11, allowing concealed handgun license holders 21 and older (or 18 if active military) to carry in campus buildings, was signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, a Republican, on June 23rd of 2015. The law went into effect Aug. 1 this year.

The professors requested a preliminary injunction to block the new campus carry law and had filed suit on July 6 against the attorney general of Texas, Ken Paxton; the president of the University of Texas at Austin, Gregory Fenves; and members of the University of Texas Board of Regents.

U.S. District Judge Lee Yeakel made no ruling during the court hearing after lawyers for the professors and for the university struggled to agree on the university’s rules and policies on concealed weapons, the Austin American-Statesman reported. Instead, Yeakel requested more information to clarify university concealed weapon policies.

“Compelling professors at a public university to allow, without any limitation or restriction, students to carry concealed guns in their classrooms chills their First Amendment rights to academic freedom,” the lawsuit says.

Paxton, the Republican Texas attorney general, called the professors’ lawsuit “frivolous.”

“There is no legal justification to deny licensed, law-abiding citizens on campus the same measure of personal protection they are entitled to elsewhere in Texas,” Paxton said in statement.

Paxton filed a response with the United States District Court for the Western District of Texas Austin Division on Aug. 1 in opposition to the University of Texas professors’ request for preliminary injunction.

The professors “have no right under the First Amendment to violate the Second Amendment rights of students,” Hans von Spakovsky, a senior legal fellow at The Heritage Foundation, told The Daily Signal. “And it is insulting to law-abiding gun owners—categorizing them as crazies who will kill someone over a debate in a classroom.”

A 1995 Texas law allows concealed handguns to be carried in public, including on the grounds of public college campuses, but previously excluded campus buildings, the Statesman reported.

Under the new law, public institutions of higher education cannot “generally” prohibit license holders from carrying concealed weapons, but are allowed to establish “rules, regulations, or other provisions” restricting guns from places like labs with dangerous chemicals and regarding the storage of handguns in residential dorm facilities.

Moore, one of the plaintiffs, who teaches English and gender studies, told NPR that “it’s impossible to do our jobs with this policy in place.” She continued:

We all teach subject matter that is quite sensitive, and we all use very participatory, you know, pedagogically sound methods of trying to teach students how to state their views on controversial subjects, challenge one another and stand up for what they believe in.

“I am genuinely not equipped to keep students safe from a firearm in my classroom,” Moore added.

Brian Bensimon, Students for Concealed Carry’s director for the state of Texas, told The Daily Signal that the professors’ lawsuit is “perplexing.”

“Concealed carry is allowed in our state capitol,” Bensimon said. “There’s plenty of open debate and lively discourse there.”

Allison Peregory, a 21-year-old University of Texas pre-law student, plans to get a state-issued concealed weapon license and carry on her campus, The Dallas Morning News reported.

“It’s important for people to have their right to self-defense be protected,” Peregory said, according to the Morning News.

Aug. 1, the date the bill went into effect, marked the 50th anniversary of a mass shooting that took place at the University of Texas at Austin.

“It is quite ironic; they [the professors] are apparently unaware that private citizens, including students, helped police in 1966 stop Charles Whitman, the University of Texas Tower sniper, when they grabbed their guns and started firing at the sniper in the tower,” Heritage’s von Spakovsky said. “One of those Texans, Allen Crum, even climbed to the top of the tower with a rifle to assist the policeman who eventually killed Whitman.”

Students for Concealed Carry is trying to block a University of Texas rule that allows professors to ban concealed weapons from their individual office space. The group filed a complaint with Paxton on Aug. 4.

“Gun control advocates think that gun bans will make people safer,” Dr. John R. Lott, a staunch gun rights advocate, former Professor at The University of Chicago, Yale University, and the University of Maryland, as well as founder of the Crime Prevention Research Center ( a non-profit formed to study the relationship between gun laws and crime ) and author of “The War on Guns,” wrote in an op-ed. “But banning guns only ensures that law-abiding good citizens are disarmed, not the killers. Instead of bans improving safety, these bans attract killers and make it easier for them to commit crimes.”  A study done by Harvard, a well-known and revered university by the left, concluded that, “The more guns a nation has, the less criminal activity.”  The study looked at armed crime rates, including murder, in nations that have total bans on gun ownership compared to nations that have high rates of gun ownership among their citizens.

In the official policy written by Gregory Fenves, the President of the University of Texas at Austin, you will find some other strange policies that have been adopted, specifically, “A license holder who carries a semiautomatic handgun on campus must carry it without a chambered round of ammunition.”  While the school intends the rule to be yet another safety measure, it goes against what most Texas firearms instructors, police academies, and the military teach for self-defense.

It’s generally accepted that—in the context of self-defense shootings, which typically happen at close range—one’s ability to quickly and cleanly present from the holster is more important than even one’s aim. Being forced to draw one’s weapon and then load the first round (a procedure that typically takes both hands) is a serious impediment to being able to quickly and cleanly present to the target. Chambering a round in the heat of battle also denies the defensive shooter an opportunity to perform a chamber check—a safety check typically performed when loading a firearm. At close contact (any distance close enough for an assailant to grab the defender’s gun), having an empty chamber can essentially render the defender’s handgun useless.

This policy, also going in tandem with another rule to require that guns be kept in a holster that covers the trigger and trigger guard, goes further than any other university in prescribing how the guns should actually be carried.  When asked by gun rights advocates groups which experts the school relied upon to define these two policies, the school declined to do so.  If UT-Austin President Gregory Fenves wishes to act responsibly, he will modify these two policies. If he does not, the policies will almost certainly face legal challenges—challenges likely to succeed and likely to cost the university significant time and money.

2000px-Gadsden_flag.svg

Wearing Gadsden Flag “Workplace Harassment”

When I was young, a phrase I heard rather frequently was “Don’t make a federal case out of it.” These days, however, you don’t hear that so often, probably because it’s now ridiculously common and absurdly easy for people to “make a federal case” out of nothing more than a gripe – provided it’s a politically correct gripe.

As an example, consider the recent Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) case involving a post office worker who complained of illegal “workplace harassment” because another worker persisted in wearing a cap with the Gadsden Flag and its “Don’t Tread on Me” motto.

For those who aren’t aware who Christopher Gadsden was, Christopher Gadsden was an American patriot if ever there was one. He led Sons of Liberty in South Carolina starting in 1765, and was later made a colonel in the Continental Army. In 1775 he was in Philadelphia representing his home state in the Continental Congress. He was also one of three members of the Marine Committee who decided to outfit and man the USS Alfred and its sister ships.  Gadsden and Congress chose a Rhode Island man, Esek Hopkins, as the commander-in-chief of the Navy. The flag that Hopkins used as his personal standard on the Alfred is the one we would now recognize. It’s likely that John Paul Jones, as the first lieutenant on the Alfred, ran it up the gaff.  It’s generally accepted that Hopkins’ flag was presented to him by Christopher Gadsden, who felt it was especially important for the commodore to have a distinctive personal standard. Gadsden also presented a copy of this flag to his state legislature in Charleston. This is recorded in the South Carolina congressional journals:

“Col. Gadsden presented to the Congress an elegant standard, such as is to be used by the commander in chief of the American navy; being a yellow field, with a lively representation of a rattle-snake in the middle, in the attitude of going to strike, and these words underneath, “Don’t Tread on Me!”

What should be a symbol of liberty, patriotic displays and military history is now a petty complaint that we must now pay federal bureaucrats to investigate and resolve.

Back in 2014, a maintenance mechanic working for the U.S. Postal Service in Denver filed a complaint stating that he found the cap “racially offensive to African Americans” because the flag on it was designed by Christopher Gadsden, who, back in the 18th century, was a slave owner and trader as almost half of the attendees of the Constitutional Convention were. USPS management tried to mollify the complainant (called “Shelton D.” in case documents) and said that the other worker would be told to stop wearing the offending cap. But that worker kept on wearing it and, making matters much worse, the USPS then dismissed the complaint on the grounds that it failed to state a “cognizable claim of discrimination.”

So, not getting satisfaction from the Postal Service, Shelton D. did just what more and more Americans now do when annoyed – complain to a federal agency. The agency tasked with making all our places of work free from any actual or imagined discrimination of any sort is the EEOC.

Instead of siding with the USPS that this complaint was much ado about nothing, the EEOC decided that the matter needs further investigation. (The EEOC’s decision is not available online, but you can read its summary of the case here.)

Why?

The EEOC states that “After a thorough review of the record, it is clear that the Gadsden Flag originated in the Revolutionary War in a non-racial context. Moreover, it is clear that the flag and its slogan have been used to express various non-racial sentiments, such as when it is used in the modern Tea Party political movement, gun rights activism, patriotic displays, and by the military.”

Nevertheless, the EEOC also declares that the flag is “sometimes interpreted to convey racially-tinged messages in some contexts.” Therefore, the case can’t be dismissed. Rather, the Postal Service must investigate further “to determine the specific context in which (the worker) displayed the symbol in the workplace.” The EEOC insists on having “evidence that would illuminate the meaning conveyed” by the wearing of the cap.

So now the Postal Service must grill the worker to find out just what “meaning” the cap was intended to convey. He might say that he’s just fed up with high taxes and meddlesome government and wasn’t conveying any racially-tinged message to Shelton D. – but how can they be certain that’s all there is to it?

Maybe the Postal Service will again decide that the complaint is groundless and maybe the EEOC will decide that the evidence adduced is good enough for it to drop the case. But however this dispute is decided, the fact that caps, clothing, and other expressions of views in the workplace can lead to regulatory trouble will have an impact on employers.

UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh comments on the Washington Post, “Workplace harassment law has become a content-based, viewpoint-based speech restriction, including on core political speech. A pretty serious First Amendment problem, I think.”

Volokh explains that the case is about the rules that all employers “must follow on pain of massive legal liability.” Massive legal liability is the crucial point here; no employer (not even the USPS) wants to costs of having to defend against complaints lodged with the EEOC that it has allowed a “hostile work environment” by permitting workers to wear or display anything “insensitive” that could set another worker off.

For that reason, they are apt to adopt rules against any apparel or other means of expression that could possibly lead to complaints about “harassment” or permitting a “hostile work environment.” If employers want to have rules against Gadsden Flag caps, Che Guevara shirts, or anything else, they should be free to make them, but the federal government shouldn’t push them into such rules.

In this dispute, we again see how prescient Alexis de Tocqueville was when he wrote about the danger to liberty he saw back in 1830:

“Society will develop a new kind of servitude which covers the surface of society with a network of complex rules through which the most original minds and energetic characters cannot penetrate.”

We are well on our way back to servitude when companies tell workers what they cannot wear for fear of trouble with our vast regulatory state.

 

AKban

Massachusetts AG Unilaterally Rewrites Assault Weapons Ban

In a proclamation sent out this morning, Attorney General Maura Healey explained in an opinion piece published in the Boston Globe that the law no longer meant what it had meant since 1998, but instead would mean what she wanted it to mean:

The Massachusetts assault weapons ban mirrors the federal ban Congress allowed to expire in 2004. It prohibits the sale of specific weapons like the Colt AR-15 and AK-47 and explicitly bans “copies or duplicates” of those weapons. But gun manufacturers have taken it upon themselves to define what a “copy” or “duplicate” weapon is. They market “state compliant” copycat versions of their assault weapons to Massachusetts buyers. They sell guns without a flash suppressor or folding or telescoping stock, for example, small tweaks that do nothing to limit the lethalness of the weapon.

That will end now. On Wednesday, we are sending a directive to all gun manufacturers and dealers that makes clear that the sale of these copycat assault weapons is illegal in Massachusetts. With this directive, we will ensure we get the full protection intended when lawmakers enacted our assault weapons ban, not the watered-down version of those protections offered by gun manufacturers.

The directive specifically outlines two tests to determine what constitutes a “copy” or “duplicate” of a prohibited weapon. If a gun’s operating system is essentially the same as that of a banned weapon, or if the gun has components that are interchangeable with those of a banned weapon, it’s a “copy” or “duplicate,” and it is illegal. Assault weapons prohibited under our laws cannot be altered in any way to make their sale or possession legal in Massachusetts.

We recognize that most residents who purchased these guns in the past believed they were doing so legally, so this directive will not apply to possession of guns purchased before Wednesday. In the dozen years since the federal assault weapons ban lapsed, only seven states have instituted their own assault weapons ban. Many of those bans have been challenged (unsuccessfully) by the gun industry, and we anticipate our directive may be too. But our job is to enforce state laws and to keep people safe. This directive does both.

 

The real question is: keep people safe from who?

Voting

Californians May Have a Chance to Block New Gun Control Laws

Barry Bahrami of Carlsbad filed Referendums late Friday to overturn the sweeping package of gun control bills signed into law by Gov. Jerry Brown earlier this month, possibly stalling the laws until voters weigh in.

The six unconstitutional laws, which take effect Jan. 1, ban the sale of semi-automatic rifles with magazines that can be detached by pressing a button and the possession of standard-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The magazine ban is not only unconstitutional it violates Article 1 Section 10 prohibiting ex post facto laws. The Federalist No. 78, Alexander Hamilton noted that “the subjecting of men to punishment for things which, when they were done, were breaches of no law” is among “the favorite and most formidable instruments of tyranny.” The laws also require background checks for ammunition sales and limits gun loans between family members only unless done through an FFL dealer.

Bahrami faces an uphill battle to qualify for the Nov. 8 ballot because of deadlines set out in state law, The referendums could spill over to the 2018 election if the deadline is not met, which would suspend the laws until the vote.

Gov. (Moonbeam) Brown signed the bills July 1 then quickly left and hid in Europe, which means Bahrami would need to submit the signatures by Sept. 29.

State law gives proponents of a referendum 90 days from the date the law is signed to gather 365,880 voter signatures. County election officials then have 38 working days to count and sample the signatures before a referendum can qualify for the November ballot.